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    Tuesday
    Apr302013

    SMART VEHICLES ARE HERE: CAN GOVERNMENT KEEP PACE?

    SMART VEHICLES ARE HERE: CAN GOVERNMENT KEEP PACE?
    The pressures are building for safer and smarter vehicles on our roads, raising questions about the national, state and local policies that will emerge. Several states are already early adopters of legislation to enable the use of autonomous vehicles. But every law is different, no national policies exist and innovations are unfolding rapidly. With the evolution of connected vehicles, intelligent roadways and cloud-based technologies (first maps, soon much more), there will be a host of choices for consumers and governments.

    Moderated by Gordon Feller, director of Urban Innovations, Cisco Systems; founder, Meeting of the Minds
    Confirmed panelists:
    Anthony Levandowski, manager, Google autonomous vehicle project
    Sen. Alex Padilla, California State Senator
    Jim Pisz, corporate manager, North American business strategy, Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
    Dan Smith, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
    Bryant Walker Smith, Fellow, Stanford University Center for Automotive Research

    Thursday
    Apr182013

    Industry needs smarter tools to manage risk:

    "Though explosions at fertilizer plants are rather uncommon -- there have been 17 unintended blasts that resulted in casualties since 1921, six of which were in the United States -- the risk could increase as the fertilizer industry is poised to grow....It appears the U.S. is in a good position to capture most of that growth, thanks to fracking, according to [the Washington Post]. That’s because a lot of fertilizer is made with natural gas, which is available on the cheap in the U.S. now thanks to the controversial practice."

    Full article here:

    West Fertilizer Co. Told The EPA There Was 'No' Risk Of Explosions: Report

    Wednesday
    Apr102013

    Mind the Gap: Transit Lessons from New York and London

    Organized by the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) in partnership with the Centre for London, LSE Cities, and the Regional Plan AssociationAs global cities and financial centers, New York City and London have much in common—not least their transportation history. Both committed early to underground rail transportation as a way to ease mounting surface congestion, supporting private franchises which would later become component parts of a municipally owned and operated transit system. In New York, this transit investment followed demand—with rail and later subway connections mimicking the growth of the city northward and eastward from its origins in lower Manhattan. In London, transit investment in many cases led demand:  early underground lines connecting central rail stations were followed by lines stretching out of the city to reach undeveloped land and create new commuter suburbs. 

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr032013

    Obama unveils plans to pump billions into US infrastructure in Miami speech

    Barack Obama unveiled new plans to pump billions into US infrastructure on Friday as he moved to return the focus back to the economy and jobs.

    Calling it his "partnership to rebuild America," Obama outlined proposals to revamp the nation's ailing highways, bridges and other public projects at Port Miami, which is undergoing a $2bn (£1.3bn) upgrade. The president, having shed his suit jacket, stood on a platform overlooking the tunnel project on Dodge Island to outline plans officials said would put the emphasis on private financing for public projects.

    "In a time of tight budgets we have got to do it in a way that will ensure taxpayers' money is spent wisely," he said during a short speech which lasted only a few minutes.

    He said investment of infrastructure had repaired 20,000 bridges, thousands of miles of roads and put tens of thousands of workers back in work. But he added that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave US infrastructure a D+ in a report earlier this month and warned the country had serious problems with its bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste disposal, ports, rail, roads and schools among other areas.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Mar292013

    London’s airport conundrum

    A delicious problem indeed with various tradeoffs: The commission set up to avert a London airport crunch has many choices, all with drawbacks. Read more here. This videographic is best viewed in full-screen mode.